Disney announced a major expansion of its Movies Anywhere service to include movies from five major studios, as well as four retailing partners. The service acts as a central clearing house allowing users to buy (or who bought in the past) a movie from one retailer to watch it on any of the other participating platforms. That includes Apple, whose iTunes property is part of the expansion.
As a lure to get people to connect their accounts to Movies Anywhere, the company has a five free movie incentive. We’ll explain below the fold.
The five studios in Movies Anywhere are:
- Sony Pictures Entertainment
- Walt Disney Studios (encompassing Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm)
- Twentieth Century Fox Film
- Universal Pictures
- Warner Bros. Entertainment
Paramount Studios and Lions Gate Entertainment are the remaining big players who haven’t signed on.
The four retailers in Movies Anywhere are:
- Amazon Video
- Google Play
Settop Boxes and Platforms with Movies Anywhere Support
How Movies Anywhere Works
Movies Anywhere has been around for several years, but it was Disney and iTunes only until now. When it launched as Disney Movies Anywhere, you could buy a movie on Disney and have it uploaded to your iTunes library. Conversely, buying a Disney movie allowed you to have it added to your Movies Anywhere library.
The expansion brings the above-listed studios and retailers into the picture. Now, users will be able to buy movies from any of the four retailers—five, if you count Disney itself—and upload them to the libraries of whatever platform they want to watch them on.
There are some 7,300 eligible movies, with the implication more will be added as time goes on.
Transfer from Disney Movies Anywhere to Movies Anywhere
Disney Movies Anywhere remains a separate entity that will be closed down, but users can transfer their accounts from the old to the new. Doing so is not immediately obvious, however. You have to sign up for a new account on Movies Anywhere—if you use the same email address you used on Disney Movies Anywhere, you will be given the option of transferring your account.
Users can also transfer their libraries over under “Manage Retailers” under Disney Movies Anywhere.
[Note: That’s what Movies Anywhere says, at least. When I went through the registration process, I was not given the option. And Disney Movies Anywhere was not an option under Manage Retailers. I’m chalking it up to first day bugs, and we’ll update this article when that changes.]
Five Free Movie Signup Offer
Movies Anywhere’s five free movie deal works like this. Users who connect one of their accounts from iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, or Vudu will get a copy of the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters (Sony Pictures), as well as Ice Age (Twentieth Century Fox).
If you connect a second account, you’ll also get Big Hero 6 (Disney), Jason Bourne (Universal), and The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros.).